This issue of the SPAWN Market Update includes over 200 resources, links and recommendations for the freelance writer, author and script writer. We provide a link to over 100 websites that pay writers, research help sites for authors, over 100 blogsites for writers/authors, industry news and much more.
Here’s What’s New – Changes in major pub org, new guild for fiction writers, book marketing conference in Philadelphia this fall and more
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – Over 100 websites that pay and 6 additional resources and opps. Get paid to write for Newsweek, for example.
Opportunities for Authors – 5 helpful resources to help with researching and writing work.
Book Promotion Opportunities – Review sites, radio interview opps, a newsletter recommendation and sites where you can get book marketing help.
Opportunities for ScriptWriters – 5 sites you must visit.
Resources for Writers and Authors – Warning signs for authors seeking publishers and over 100 blog sites for writers and authors.
Going, Going, Gone – 5 magazines and a publisher go under.
Here’s What’s New
Big news in the world of publishing. Those of you who have been around for a while are aware of SPAN, Small Publishers Association of North America. Marilyn and Tom Ross started this organization around the same time that Mary Embree founded SPAWN. Recently, Brian Jud took over as Executive Director of SPAN and he has announced that the name and focus of this organization has changed. SPAN is now APSS (Association of Publishers for Special Sales). They made the big announcement at the BEA in NY. Their mission is to “help members discover and exploit a new source of revenue and profits through the sale of books in large, non-returnable quantities to non-bookstore buyers.” Sign up for their new enewsletter: The Sales Informer at email@example.com or at the website: http://www.bookapss.org. SPAWN members can join APSS for $60—quite a nice discount, actually.
APSS (formerly SPAN) is presenting their first national book-marketing conference November 8 and 9 of 2013 in Philadelphia. Learn more at http://www.bookapss.org.
What is the Furry Writers’ Guild? According to their website, it is a place where those who write anthropomorphic fiction can gather, learn and improve. This organization offers support, resources, information and networking opportunities. Learn more here: http://www.furrywritersguild.com
Parenting and BabyTalk will soon be part of Parents and American Baby.
The Miami Herald has a new address: 35 NW 91s Ave., Doral, Florida
It’s interesting to note what magazine readers are buying these days. Readership for magazines related to food, health and decorating is growing. Magazines that are faltering include American Hunter, Cigar Aficionado, Golf Digest, North American Fisherman, Inc, and Fit Pregnancy. Newspaper circulation is falling and newspaper advertising revenue has dropped in the US, and it is rising in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers
Amazon announces a surprising new program for writers. Kimberly Sowles emailed me this month about a new opportunity Amazon is offering writers who want to benefit from material that’s already copyrighted. Here’s a quote from their press release, “Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so.” Evidently, Amazon has secured licenses from Warner Brothers for such works as Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries. They plan to secure additional licenses soon. So how does this affect you? Amazon, through Kindle Worlds, will allow writers to publish stories inspired by these stories. Amazon will pay 35% royalties for works of 5,000 to 10,000 words. They invite writers to visit Kindle Worlds to learn more at http://www.amazon.com/kindleworlds. To read this press release in its entirety, go to: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1823219&highlight
You may want to start paying attention to Newsweek.com. They’ll produce a new edition each Wednesday offering three to five feature stories, a column called “Newsmakers” and images from photojournalists. It looks like they might use freelance writers and photojournalists. So stay tuned and be prepared to jump through any hoops they might provide. http://newsweek.com
Here are 100 websites that pay writers. Interested? Check out Carol Tice’s blog post for May 20, 2013 at Make a Living Writing Blog http://www.makealivingwriting.com No kidding, she says you can earn as much as $50 to $100 per post—maybe more. If you’re a prolific writer, you should check this out.
BuzzFeed is interviewing potential editors for some of their overseas issues. They are interested in “business scoops” http://www.buzzfeed.com
Prime of Your Life Today is a new magazine according to Kim Reese. She is seeking submissions of 150 to 750 words on health, travel, financial, lifestyle (after 45), decorating, crafts as well as humor and inspirational stories—preferably family-oriented. Unfortunately, there is no pay at this time. And no promise of pay in the future. Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you write for or hope to write for Saturday Evening Post, you might consider pitching articles for younger readers—but editors are also looking for material that won’t scare off their more mature readers. Now there’s a quandary. But if you can key in on just what they want, you could be well rewarded.
Opportunities for Authors
Are you familiar with Writer’s Relief? Evidently this company was formed to help busy writers complete their projects. How? They help with research and legwork so you have more time to write. This would have been highly valuable to me over the years when I’ve worked on a book that required major research. They’d like to see your work and learn something about your project before committing. They also help you prepare your work for publishers or literary agents. Here are their submission guidelines: http://www.writersrelief.com/submission-guidelines-for-review-board. You’ll notice that they are accepting novels and nonfiction of from 50,000 to 125,000 and stand alone poems. They are not accepting poetry collections, children’s books or screenplays at the moment. http://www.writersrelief.com President Ronnie L Smith.
For Authors is touted as the place where authors go to improve their craft. It looks as though they have articles, resources, directories of other sites for authors and even some free stuff for authors. http://www.forauthors.com If you have something of value to say or suggest to authors, you might submit your article for consideration.
Get editorial help at AuthorsForAuthors. Three published authors have joined together to provide services for authors in need of editing. They also assist writers in selling and marketing their work. And they provide venues for authors to showcase their work, make presentations and network with others in the publishing field. What I couldn’t find out at their site is whether or not they charge for their services. http://www.authorsforauthors.com
For Writers is another website for—well, you guessed it, writers and authors. They list writers groups, organizations, forums, conventions and workshops and more. http://www.forwriters.com
The American Society for Authors and Writers and Media Professionals. http://amsaw.org They claim they can find you a literary agent, ghostwriter, book reviewer and more. Looks like an interesting site.
If you’re seeking a writers or authors organization, be sure to check the lists provided at some of these sites. If you just stay on the home page, you’re doing yourself quite a disservice. Click on some of the menu buttons. Move around the site, see what it’s about and definitely click on any link you see that indicates a possible resource list.
Book Promotion Opportunities
Have you heard of Story Cartel? They’re not even a year old, but they’ve managed to get over 6,000 reviews for authors’ books. And we all know that reviews can help sell books. Here’s how Story Cartel works. You offer your book for free download for a period of time at this site and readers who choose to read your book promise to review it at Amazon. Check it out to see if this is a good promotional ploy for you and your work. http://storycartel.com
Triangle Variety Radio is looking for guests to interview. Why not contact them about your great book topic. http://www.trianglevarietyradio.com They recommend clicking on “Interview Info.”
Likewise, you might be chosen as a guest on Conscious Discussions on Blog Talk Radio. Check out this opportunity at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions
Do you subscribe to Fran Silverman’s Book Promotion Newsletter? If you have a book to promote, this should be one of the first resources you seek out. It looks like the address has changed. Here’s the new one: http://www.sky-bolt.com/book/index.htm At the end of her newsletter, Fran offers a list of ebooklets she offers in a variety of categories for authors who want to promote their books on radio or blog radio. For example, if you write about business, you can purchase the ebooklet listing 267 shows for $25. The food and travel categories cover 66 shows for $12. New Age, a list of 235 shows for $25 and 71 shows for topics related to parenting for only $15. Contact Fran Silverman here: email@example.com
If your book is for the 45-year-old-plus reader and covers health, travel, finances, family issues, etc., you might consider submitting articles to the new magazine, Prime of Your Life Today—a Magazine for 45+ This might be a good way to become known to your audience. Kim Reese is the editor. She wants articles of from 150 to 750 words. Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Author is a romance book review site. http://dearauthor.com This site is set up for readers to review books for readers.
Are you looking for help marketing your book? There are publicists and there are also companies where you can get a variety of services related to book promotion. Just do an Internet search using keywords, “Book Marketing Company,” or “Book Marketing Help.” If you find a company you would like to pursue, carefully scrutinize them, check references, ask pointed questions—“Do you help market children’s books?” “Can you evaluate my book and give me an idea of what you can do for me?” “Do you tailor the marketing program for me and my book or is it a general approach?” “Do you lean heavily toward (or against) Internet marketing? Public speaking? Or? Etc.”
Never, never depend completely on your pay-to-publish (“self-publishing”) company to market your book. You may pay a hefty amount for their marketing services, but I’m fairly certain that you will be disappointed in the results of their efforts. I’ve never met an author who wasn’t—disappointed, that is.
The best marketing agent for your book is you. If you have no intentions of doing the promotion, I’d say scratch the project. If you want to produce a book that is at least somewhat successful, you MUST promote it.
Opportunities for ScriptWriters
Jerrol LeBaron of InkTip emailed me to let me know that they have helped to sell a total of 97 scripts—with 13 movies having been made this year only—through May of 2013. Encouraging, isn’t it? If you want some action with regard to your screenplay or TV series idea, for example, subscribe to InkTip at http://www.inktip.com.
Here’s a site with instructions on the dos and don’ts of getting your script read: http://thescriptfixer.com/tips.html
Here’s a directory of those who read scripts: http://www.absolutewrite.com/screenwriting/schirmer/getting_your_screenplay_read.htm
Here’s a good article on how to get your scripts read: http://www.scriptmag.com/features/magic-bullet-how-to-get-your-script-read
And here’s another one: http://www.writersstore.com/how-to-get-em-to-read-your-script
Resources for Authors
I found a guest post at Novel Publicity and Co. by Valerie Douglas interesting. She lists 9 warning signs you should be aware of before signing with a publisher. Among them are the following:
- Never, never pay for services you can do yourself. I might add—or that you can pay your choice of professionals to do. One service she mentions is editing. I believe we all need our work edited—some more so than others. And I’ve learned from many authors that the editing services offered at most pay-to-publish companies are not worth the fee.
- Valerie says never pay for your galley or proof copies.
- She suggests asking your potential publisher lots and lots of questions that you may have taken for granted—such as, “who is your printer?” “What is your marketing plan?”
- She advises that you find out what’s happening on their social media sites? Anything that will help your book to succeed or are they using a lot of smoke and mirrors?
Blogs for Freelance Writers and Authors
http://www.copyblogger.com/the-top-10-blogs-for-writers (10 blogs for writers)
http://www.thewriterssite.com/direct_pages/writing_blogs.php (over 50 of them)
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com (A newbies guide to publishing.)
http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog (Yes, Patricia Fry’s own blog for authors.)
Going, Going, Gone
Routes Magazine has folded.
The Rhinoceros Times has quit publishing
The July issue of Easy Living will be the last.
McArthur and Company, an independent Canadian publishing house, plans to close